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Gear & Apps

More Details About Sigma’s MC-11 Lens Converter, Pentax Lens Roadmap, SD Cards for Video {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on February 28th 2016

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Sigma MC-11 Adapter Is More Advanced Than We Thought

When Sigma’s MC-11 was initially announced, we were under the impression that it was ‘just another EF-E’ lens adapter. But as more information is coming out, we are seeing that it is actually a bit more than that.

It also appears that my question regarding if it would be compatible with all EF lenses or just Sigma glass has been answered. You see, unlike a traditional lens adapter, which takes Sony signals and converts them to EF signals (and vice versa), this Sigma adapter actually overrides the firmware in that Sigma lens (while it’s attached to the converter) and allows it to ‘speak’ with the Sony camera directly.

Sigma_Mount_Converter_MC1

So, to keep up my language analogy, while a Metabones adapter (for example) acts as a translator between a Canon lens and the camera, this new Sigma adapter actually teaches (temporarily) the Sigma lens the new language. As we all know, it’s much easier to communicate with your own tongue than through a translator, and this is the concept that Sigma hopes will allow for better-converted lens performance on Sony cameras.

I am even more excited to get my hands on this adapter now, given that we know it’s something unique. The below test footage looks like the performance is ok, you can see it having some issues in a few spots, but we don’t know what camera it is on or what lens. I will hold off judgment until I can get it into my own hands to test.

The MC-11 adapter is expected to begin shipping in April, as per the B&H website. If you are interested in pre-ordering one, you can do so here.

New Pentax 2016 Lens Roadmap for K Mount and 645

I am a big fan of the lens roadmaps that companies have started putting together in recent years. It is really nice knowing what is coming so that you can plan for upgrading or expanding your kit ahead of an announcement.

Over at CP+ in Japan, Ricoh announced their updated Pentax lens roadmaps for the K mount and 645 lens systems.

Pentax-645-mount-lens-roadmap-2016 Pentax-K-mount-lens-compatibility-with-35mm-full-frame-format

Pentax-K-mount-D-FA-lens-roadmap-2016

I am looking forward to getting a chance to give the new Pentax K-1 a try. It looks like it could be a killer option for full frame shooters who have some nostalgia from the Pentax name.

The K-1 is expected to begin shipping towards the end of April, but those who want one should consider putting in a pre-order ahead of time. If you are interested, you can do so here.

Favorite SD Cards for Video

Caleb from DSLR Video Shooter has put together a quick video sharing his favorite SD cards for recording video. I always enjoy these sort of videos, regardless of if I agree or use the same products; it’s interesting for me to see what others are using.

Personally, I am really happy with my 128GB Lexar cards. Plenty of room for video and stills, fast enough for 4K recording. They are rather spendy, though, and I fully admit 128GB is a little excessive.

What are your favorite SD cards for stills and video? Leave a comment below!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Merijn Geurts

    I have always had Transcend CF’s and SD’s (for photography). I really like that brand, I’ve never had any problem. I think there are not many brands with a better price/performance.

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  2. John Cavan

    I keep thinking about the K-1. While I really like my D800 and the lenses, I still miss the feel of a Pentax camera in my hands. D800 is close, but not quite.

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    • adam sanford

      Do we really anticipate the K-1 will move market share over from Canon or Nikon? Or should we just look at like we do the Sony a99 — given how painful it is to migrate systems, perhaps the K-1 (despite all its merits) may end up just being an offering for the already-Pentax-faithful crowd.
      .
      (And before people get spun up defending the K-1 as being *far* better than the a99 — which it is — understand that it’s just for the point of example.)

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I don’t see many jumping ship for the K-1, not right away anyways.

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    • Paul Nguyen

      I wish the K-1 the very best, but I think it lacks the factors which usually drive success.

      Against Canon and Nikon, its new features are good, but not so good that it is worth sacrificing Canon/Nikon lenses and ecosystems for. It’s not even just lenses, so many people are fixated on lenses, but don’t realise it’s even things such as flashes and 3rd party accessories (e.g. batteries).

      Perhaps its greatest disadvantage, however, is the fact that it isn’t mirrorless and Pentax lacks the marketing power of others, such as Sony. Whether for the better or worse, the world is moving towards mirrorless. Personally, I’m not sold on the benefits of mirrorless, which is why I primarily shoot DSLR, but it’s hard to deny that mirrorless is gaining traction very quickly.

      Why is this the case? Well, once upon a time, the widely held belief was that mirrorless cameras were smaller and lighter. The price you paid for a smaller and lighter camera was a smaller library of lenses, worse AF…etc. However, as time went on, this became a different story. The Sony A7R II is almost the same weight as most medium sized DSLRs such as the 6D or D750. Its new f/2.8 zooms are as heavy as DSLR counterparts. It’s more expensive, it’s just as heavy and it’s more expensive.

      So given this, why do people buy into Sony? Well, most of it is hype. Sony is ‘cool’, it’s the same reason people buy fancy cars and nice smartphones, it’s hip, chick, cool and it earns you some street cred as a photographer. The trendy thing to do these days is to move to mirrorless and write about it. Some people do have valid reasons to move to mirrorless, but a vast number do it because others are and for no other reason. It’s this market Pentax will fail to capture.

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    • adam sanford

      But Paul, the idea that the ‘sole point of mirrorless is to be smaller/lighter’ is only true for a portion of the market.
      .
      A LOT of people want mirrorless because they believe it offers things *better* than an SLR:
      .
      * A viewfinder that can do things traditional OVFs cannot: focus speaking, realtime histo, light amplification in dark rooms, etc.
      * No mirror slap
      * Faster max shutter than 1/8000
      * Less moving parts, less things that can fail or need servicing
      .
      Consider: a good chunk of the Canon faithful who aren’t sports/action/wildlife folks do *not* want a smaller/lighter FF mirrorless rig than their FF SLRs — they want a full flange distance solid/stout/heavy/grippy body to put all their EF glass on it as a proper counterweight. They see mirrorless as an opportunity **to do new/better things**, not just deliver almost-as-good-as-an-SLR in a smaller package.
      .
      That said, I still prefer an SLR myself. Someday, I am positive that will change as mirrorless evolves.

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    • Paul Nguyen

      I don’t disagree with you on that regard, but the things which mirrorless do better than DSLR are few and far between.

      Out of the things you raised, mirror slap is a good point, but if you’re shooting on a tripod, you’re already likely to be using mirror-up. If you’re shooting handheld, it doesn’t really matter. Either way, it’s something that concerns very few real photographers. Same with faster than 1/8,000s shutter speed. With many more cameras offering a base ISO of 64, rather than 100, most can shoot at f/1.4 in direct sunlight at 1/8000s just fine.

      I don’t hate mirrorless, I personally shoot with mirrorless cameras sometimes, but I genuinely believe that it’s predominantly about the “cool” factor, rationalised by very marginal benefits. People do it because it’s cool and they get to buy new things and the excuse is that mirrorless has certain advantages, none of which are, in their own right, very significant.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I don’t think Pentax is going to lure many Nikon or Canon shooters over… and I’m not sure that’s the point. It’s not as if Pentax hasn’t been around, just not with a FF model. For many people, particularly enthusiasts, they’ll look upon the whole camera system with an eye similar to that of a working pro, but not entirely. They’re concerned about cost and probably some bullet point upgrades. If full-frame is on that list, even if it’s not a concern today, Pentax fails versus Nikon, Canon, or Sony, no matter how much that particular photographer likes Pentax. With the FF option, they’re on a more level playing field for a beginner stepping up to an ILC. Pentax has a few of their own tricks, too — they’re the only DSLR with IBIS in production. Not for me, but I know quite a few Pentax enthusiasts.

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    • John Cavan

      I don’t expect much in the way of movement in that respect, but I think they’ll see a healthy upgrade move on their own line. It is interesting, however, that those heavily bought into crop sensors and lenses are almost in a full system upgrade if they want full frame anyways and so some of them may consider the K-1 potential depending on their interests (e.g. astrophotography). I would expect that collection to be really small, though, as system switches can be difficult just from a familiarity perspective, as I learned. :)

      Now, first timers? It’s good to have an entrant in the collection at that price point with some decent professional specs attached to it. For first time dSLR buyers the old name of Pentax may become interesting as, unlike before, the lack of an upgrade path claim is no longer a valid one. In fact, arguably, you can advance further inside the Pentax brand than some others courtesy of their medium format option though, as reasonably priced as the 645 line is, it’s still quite pricey and it’s not like the lenses can move up to it. Still, control layout, menu behaviour, and so on allow for adoption. Now, Pentax needs a pro-level support option to seal their entry here.

      However, if nothing else, I love seeing Pentax in the full game. It shakes up the market and makes for some interesting responses from the others. I have a huge fondness for the brand and if this adds some strength to it, great. I love a camera company that has the photographer’s experience their most important value.

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  3. Lakin Jones

    While I’d love to get a FF Pentax… I’ll have to wait and see what packages they offer. After buying my K-3 at launch and a month later seeing it priced the same with a $200 grip included I’m inclined to wait for a better offer.

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